Should I invest in solar panels?


Installations of residential solar power have grown dramatically over the past several years. Drive around just about any neighborhood today and you’ll probably see solar panels on the roofs of all types of homes. But what are the reasons homeowners choose to go solar?

It turns out there are many.

Solar enhances the value of your home

According to a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, home values can increase by $5,911 for each kilowatt (kW) of solar energy generated by a rooftop system. Since most homes can produce 2 – 5 kW, the increased value is anywhere from $12,000 to $30,000, depending on the size of the system that’s installed. We discussed this earlier in a recent blog post.

Solar can produce better returns than the stock market

Could an investment in solar panels for the home beat the return of Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index, which tracks the performance of some of the world`s largest and most successful corporations? The answer is yes. The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center at NC State University compared 25-year investment returns from the S&P 500 stock index with projected returns from a home solar system. In 46 of 50 top cities, solar came out ahead. That same study showed that New York ranked #1 in overall aggregate rankings both for first-year cost savings and investment value of a solar installation over a 25-year period compared to the same timeframe of the S&P 500.

Save on energy bills

Saving on electricity bills is usually the number one reason homeowners go solar. Let’s explore just how much you can save. In another study by NC State University, researchers found that a 5 kW solar PV system saved homeowners an average of $44 to $187 per month during the first year that they owned their system. Our team can determine specific savings when meeting with customers to discuss their individual needs.

Solar energy is affordable

Going solar saves you money from the first day your system is turned on. And the best part is that it’s affordable, thanks to many incentive programs that are available from federal, state and local governments. These incentives include tax credits, subsidies, and grants. In addition, there are many financing options available that can make it easy to install solar for your home, even ones that have no upfront costs (ask us about our zero-down plan). The best option depends on your goals and unique situation.

Time sensitive state and federal tax credit

The best time to go solar is now. The federal Solar Investment Tax Credit is a 30% tax credit for residential solar systems, but it’s due to expire at the end of 2016. There are also various state tax credits and incentives; New York has over two-dozen programs.

Solar requires low maintenance

If you think that solar panels require a lot of maintenance, think again. The lack of moving parts and sheer resiliency of a quality panel installation ensures peace of mind when it comes to reliability. Plus, the Sunpower panels we exclusively install offer the most aggressive warranty in the industry, confirming further that going solar is a smart decision.

There are many resources to help make the right solar decision

When it comes to choosing a solar energy system, there are many things to consider. How much power do you consume? What is the size of the system that will need to be installed? Which provider is the best fit? Fortunately, there are many resources available to help become better informed and make the right decisions. We like Energy Sage, as it lets installers compete for your business, giving you more options and the best deals. We also like CleanTechnica for its coverage of renewable energy and how it affects consumers.

Clean, renewable solar energy is good for the environment

Producing electricity with solar PV emits no pollution, produces no greenhouse gasses and uses no fossil fuel resources. All the energy stored in Earth’s reserves of coal, oil and natural gas is matched by the energy from just 20 days of sunshine. Averaged over a year, each square meter of the planet’s surface collects the energy equivalent of almost a barrel of oil each year or 4.2 kilowatt-hours of energy every day.

Declare your energy independence from utility companies by going solar. With a solar PV system, you take control of your own power. You’ll generate your own power, independent of your utility company, and export the excess to the grid (for which you will receive a credit!).

Hedge against rising energy costs

There’s no doubt that energy costs continue to rise. In fact, an analysis from Citizens Advice projects that by June 2015, the big six suppliers of electricity and gas will have increased their prices by 37% since October 2010. And higher prices are on the way. By investing in a solar PV system, you’ll be able to enjoy savings on your monthly energy bills, as well as a hedge against potential increases in years to come.

Enjoy low risk, high rewards with no upfront cost

Going solar offers ongoing savings on electricity costs; a hedge against predicted energy cost increases and is good for the environment. Thanks to different incentive programs and purchase options, you can go solar for little or no cost upfront. Best of all, there’s low risk involved, as long as you use a reputable installer and quality solar panels.

It turns out there are many.